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Nature by Design

Tray, 1900, designed by J. Juriaan Kok

Forms, patterns, and materials from the natural world have been a central inspiration for artists throughout history. In the applied arts and design fields, such motifs bring the beauty of nature into daily life. But the simple term “nature” disguises the complexity of its many meanings across different places, times, and cultures. Artworks in this collection help audiences understand how artists, designers, and consumers have grappled with the shifting boundaries between natural and artificial.